WASHINGTON (AP) Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whose contacts with Russia's ambassador to the US during the presidential campaign have sparked questions, agreed Saturday to appear before the Senate intelligence committee as it investigates alleged Russian meddling in the election.
The Senate panel is investigating allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 USA presidential election.
Sessions had been due to appear before the Senate Appropriations Committee tomorrow about the Justice Department's budget for 2018, but said the switch of hearing was necessary as it had become clear he would be questioned about Russian Federation.
Originally, Sessions was to testify Tuesday before the House and Senate subcommittees that oversee his department's budget but, as the AG wrote in his letter to the chairman of the subcommittee, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will be stepping in for him.
In light of former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James B. Comey's testimony last week, Sessions was expected to get many questions from lawmakers about his contacts with Russian officials during the 2016 election campaign.
Sessions' role in the ongoing probe into Trump campaign's alleged communications with Russian Federation has come under increased scrutiny since the testimony of former FBI Director James Comey this week.
Members of the intelligence committee are in the middle of an investigation and have "access to relevant, classified information", Sessions said.
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Sessions said Saturday that he was accepting an invitation from the Senate intelligence committee, although that was not immediately confirmed.
"I urge that the committee hold a public hearing with the Attorney General in the open so that the American public can hear for themselves what he has to say with regard to connections to the Russians and the President's abuse of power", Wyden wrote.
Sessions removed himself from involvement any probe into alleged Russian meddling in the elections in March, but maintained he did nothing wrong by failing to disclose that he met past year with Russia's ambassador. We also were aware of facts that I can't discuss in an opening setting that would make his continued engagement in a Russia-related investigation problematic. Comey alleges that Trump then privately asked him to drop a probe into former national security adviser Michael Flynn's contacts with Russian Federation.
Comey's testimony raised questions about Sessions' engagements with Russian Federation and his involvement in Comey's firing despite Sessions' recusal from the Russian Federation investigation, which Comey was leading. Burr was an vocal supporter of Trump's candidacy and an official adviser to the campaign.
He had told politicians at his January confirmation hearing that he had not met with Russians during the campaign.
Lankford, also appearing on Face the Nation, said Sessions' testimony Tuesday will help flesh out the truth of Comey's allegations, including Sessions' presence at the White House in February when Trump asked to speak to Comey alone.
Sessions has been dogged by questions about possible additional encounters with the ambassador, Sergey Kislyak.